loans and grants

Philippines gets ADB loans totaling $1 billion for jobs, agriculture recovery

Ralf Rivas

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Philippines gets ADB loans totaling $1 billion for jobs, agriculture recovery
Since the onset of the pandemic, the Asian Development Bank has loaned the Philippines $9.9 billion

MANILA, Philippines – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a $500-million (P27.2 billion) loan for the Philippines’ programs to boost job creation in pandemic-hit sectors, and another $500-million loan for agricultural reform.

Under the ADB’s Post-COVID-19 Business and Employment Recovery Program, the multilateral lender supports the government’s jobs and business recovery blueprint. It also supports the private sector-led SkillsUpNet Philippines, which provides grants to enterprises for upskilling workers in information technology, construction, agribusiness, and tourism.

While the unemployment rate declined to 4.2% in November 2022 from 6.5% a year earlier, recovery remains uneven. The ADB noted that wage employment in private establishments remains lower than pre-pandemic levels. Similarly, informal employment remains higher, even though it has declined in recent months.

“With the economy slowly moving towards a sustainable growth path, it is important to ensure private enterprises are supported with policies that make it easier for them to do business and generate employment,” said ADB Senior Public Management Economist Sameer Khatiwada.

Meanwhile, the $500 million for agricultural reform is under the ADB’s Competitive and Inclusive Agriculture Development Program, which seeks to further develop the agriculture sector with trade policy and regulatory framework reforms.

“This new loan aims to support the Philippines’ efforts to attain food security by building a competitive and inclusive agriculture sector that is characterized by improved efficiency, enhanced diversity, strengthened climate resilience, and higher farm incomes,” said ADB Principal Natural Resources and Agriculture Economist for Southeast Asia Takeshi Ueda.

From 2020 to 2022, the ADB committed $8.9 billion for the Philippines’ recovery efforts. The loans in 2023 bring the total commitments by the multilateral institution during the pandemic to $9.9 billion.

In 2020, the ADB committed 11 loan deals worth $4 billion. In 2021, there were six commitments worth $2.23 billion. In 2022, there were four loan agreements worth $2.5 billion. –

$1 = P54.40

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Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.